Productions of “The Nutcracker” are everywhere during the holiday season. The magic of dancing sweets, a handsome prince and a holiday dream-come-true is everything you need to get into the spirit of the season—especially if you’re an aspiring ballerina hoping to one day perform the coveted role of Clara or the Sugarplum Fairy.
California audiences can see this fairy tale come to life at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Thursday, Dec. 7 with an opening night cast led by principal dancer Misty Copeland as Clara the Princess.
Subsequent performances will highlight other principal dancers including Stella Abrera (Dec. 9 and 16) and Gillian Murphy (Dec. 9, 15, and 17). The Register spoke with Abrera and Murphy who shared some of their favorite things about “The Nutcracker” and the holiday season.
Q: How old were you when you performed in your first production of “The Nutcracker?”
Gillian Murphy: When I was 7 years old, I danced as an angel in the second act of “The Nutcracker” at my local ballet school’s production in Florence, South Carolina. I remember feeling slightly confused, but very excited before entering the foggy stage with my fellow angels.
Stella Abrera: I was 8 years old when I first performed in “The Nutcracker” (with Pasadena Dance Theatre), as a bon-bon scurrying out from under Mother Ginger’s skirt.
Q: Why do you think “The Nutcracker” has become such a beloved Christmas routine?
GM: Every year, people tell me “‘The Nutcracker’ puts me in the holiday spirit.” The season can get a bit frenzied, and I believe that families and friends enjoy the tradition of sitting down together to share the experience of live theater for a couple of…